Renewable energy key for European energy security

European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium (source: flickr/ Francisco Antunes, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 22 Sep 2014

Renewable energy organizations are calling on the policy makers in the European Union to show more ambition for renewables in the future EU climate and energy policy and in the action plan to tackle the energy crisis.

At a district heating event today in Brussels, a group of renewable energy organizations is calling on the policy makers in the European Union to show more ambition for renewables in the future EU climate and energy policy and in the action plan to tackle the energy crisis.

More than 140 participants joined the conference “rescuing Europe from energy dependency: the role of renewables” organised by the EU renewable energy industry on Monday 22 September, which gathered representatives from EU institutions, as well as energy experts from the IEA and the renewable energy sector.

A month ahead of the European Council, which is expected to adopt an official position on the Commission’s proposal for future EU climate and energy policies, AEBIOM, EGEC, ESHA, ESTELA, ESTIF and EUREC have sent a clear message to the EU institutions: the Commission’s 2030 vision does not reflect the potential of diverse renewable energy options, be it renewable heating and cooling or dispatchable renewable electricity. They welcomed European Commission President-elect Jean- Claude Juncker’s ambition to create “a Europe’s Energy Union to become the world number one in renewable energies”.

The security of energy supply crisis faced by the EU today makes the need to strengthen the development of renewable energy sources urgent. Combined with energy efficiency measures, they represent the only sustainable way to increase EU energy independency, tackle climate change, and strengthen our economy. This requires, among other things, an ambitious EU renewable energy target distributed in national legally binding targets among Member States.

“In their forthcoming decision in October, it is essential that Member States consider Renewables as a no regret option for the future EU energy mix, including alleviating our energy dependency” said Burkhard Sanner, President of EGEC. “The Commission’s 2030 proposal of a 40% reduction target for GHG emissions and a 27% target for renewable energy is merely the equivalent of ‘business-as-usual’. The RES objective needs to be revised upwards,” he added.

“For the EU binding renewable target to have an effect, binding national targets must be defined. We doubt that national voluntary objectives would deliver!” added Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General of AEBIOM.

“The design of the future energy system needs to focus on the consumer, making them a part of the solution”, said Pedro Dias, Secretary-General of ESTIF. “In this particular context, renewable heating technologies can provide more stable and affordable options to households and industry, while promoting local investments and jobs creation” he added.

The Commission’s proposal also does not recognise sufficiently the potential of dispatchable renewable energy sources in the electricity sector. “While all renewable energy technologies have an important and complementary role to ensure a transition towards a sustainable energy system, concentrated solar thermal and geothermal energy, as well as biomass and hydropower can facilitate the integration of variable sources” said Marcel Bial, Secretary General of ESTELA.

The European renewable industry urges EU Policy makers to take note of the outcomes of this conference as significant inputs for their future decisions.

Source: Statement by the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers (EUREC), European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA), European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA) and the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC)